Lakers downplay Xavier Henry’s wrist injury

It appears nothing will stop Xavier Henry from trying to prove he’s worthy of cracking the Lakers’ roster.

The team divulged he suffered a moderately sprained right wrist during the Lakers’ 97-88 preseason loss Sunday to the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center. But both Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni and Henry downplayed the severity of the injury.

D’Antoni revealed Henry had been nursing the injury for “a couple weeks,” apparently during a pick-up game before training cap began eight days ago. Henry said the pain simply worsened because he “fell on it hard” Sunday during an undisclosed play.

“I’m okay,” Henry said. “I’m not going to miss anything. I’m not going to miss practice, a shootaround, a game. I’m in it to win it. I’ll be here everyday.”

So far, Henry has become the Lakers’ pleasant surprise during training camp. He posted a team-leading 15 points on 4 of 7 shooting and 7 of 9 mark from the free-throw line against Denver,a day after dropping a career-high 29 points in the Lakers’ preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors in Ontario.

Not bad for someone scrapping for player who averaged 4.5 points on 40.3 percent shooting through three NBA seasons

“He showed us enough he can play in this league,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll see what role he can carve out, but I’m really happy right now with his performance.”

Does this help Henry’s chances in making the team?

“I would think so,” D’Antoni said. “But we have a long way to go.”

That includes monitoring Henry’s wrist and continuing to build off his double-digit performances.

“Here right now with the team we had, they’re putting me in spots where I have a high success rate in getting to the rim,” Henry said. “That allows me to be in the right spot at the right time. If you can do that, you’re able to be yourself and play the game that you played. You’re not stuck at one part of the floor and they forget about you.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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